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Common Goldenrod

Solidago virgaurea

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Also in this family:
Alpine Blue Sow-thistle, Alpine Cotula, Alpine Fleabane, Alpine Saw-wort, Annual Ragweed, Annual Sunflower, Argentine Fleabane, Autumn Hawkbit, Autumn Oxeye, Beaked Hawksbeard, Beggarticks, Bilbao Fleabane, Black Knapweed, Black-eyed Susan, Blanketflower, Blue Fleabane, Blue Globe-thistle, Bristly Oxtongue, Broad-leaved Cudweed, Broad-leaved Ragwort, Brown Knapweed, Butterbur, Buttonweed, Cabbage Thistle, Canadian Fleabane, Canadian Goldenrod, Carline Thistle, Chalk Knapweed, Chamois Ragwort, Changing Michaelmas Daisy, Chicory, Chinese Mugwort, Chinese Ragwort, Coltsfoot, Common Blue Sow-thistle, Common Cat's-ear, Common Cudweed, Common Daisy, Common Dandelion, Common Fleabane, Common Groundsel, Common Michaelmas Daisy, Common Mugwort, Common Ragwort, Common Wormwood, Coneflower, Confused Michaelmas Daisy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Cotton Thistle, Cottonweed, Creeping Thistle, Daisy Bush, Dwarf Cudweed, Dwarf Thistle, Early Goldenrod, Eastern Groundsel, Eastern Leopardsbane, Elecampane, English Hawkweed, Fen Ragwort, Feverfew, Field Fleawort, Field Wormwood, Fox and Cubs, French Tarragon, Gallant Soldier, Garden Lettuce, Giant Butterbur, Glabrous-headed Hawkweed, Glandular Globe-thistle, Glaucous Michaelmas Daisy, Globe Artichoke, Globe-thistle, Goat's Beard, Golden Ragwort, Golden Samphire, Goldilocks Aster, Grass-leaved Goldenrod, Great Lettuce, Greater Burdock, Greater Knapweed, Grey-headed Hawkweed, Guernsey Fleabane, Hairless Blue Sow-thistle, Hairless Leptinella, Hairy Michaelmas Daisy, Harpur Crewe's Leopardsbane, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Heath Cudweed, Heath Groundsel, Hemp Agrimony, Highland Cudweed, Hoary Mugwort, Hoary Ragwort, Hybrid Knapweed, Intermediate Burdock, Irish Fleabane, Jersey Cudweed, Jerusalem Artichoke, Lance-leaved Hawkweed, Lavender-cotton, Leafless Hawksbeard, Least Lettuce, Leopardplant, Leopardsbane, Leptinella, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Hawkbit, Lesser Sunflower, London Bur-marigold, Magellan Ragwort, Marsh Cudweed, Marsh Hawksbeard, Marsh Ragwort, Marsh Sow-thistle, Marsh Thistle, Meadow Thistle, Melancholy Thistle, Mexican Fleabane, Milk Thistle, Mountain Everlasting, Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Musk Thistle, Narrow-leaved Cudweed, Narrow-leaved Hawkweed, Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy, Narrow-leaved Ragwort, New England Hawkweed, New Zealand Holly, Nipplewort, Nodding Bur-marigold, Northern Hawksbeard, Norwegian Mugwort, Oxeye Daisy, Oxford Ragwort, Pearly Everlasting, Perennial Cornflower, Perennial Ragweed, Perennial Sow-thistle, Perennial Sunflower, Pineapple Mayweed, Plantain-leaved Leopardsbane, Ploughman's Spikenard, Plymouth Thistle, Pontic Blue Sow-thistle, Pot Marigold, Prickly Lettuce, Prickly Sow-thistle, Purple Coltsfoot, Rayed Tansy, Red Star Thistle, Red-seeded Dandelion, Red-tipped Cudweed, Robin's Plantain, Roman Chamomile, Rough Cocklebur, Rough Hawkbit, Rough Hawksbeard, Russian Lettuce, Safflower, Salsify, Saw-wort, Scented Mayweed, Scentless Mayweed, Sea Aster, Sea Mayweed, Sea Wormwood, Seaside Daisy, Shaggy Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shaggy Soldier, Shasta Daisy, Shetland Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Shrub Ragwort, Sicilian Chamomile, Silver Ragwort, Slender Mugwort, Slender Thistle, Small Cudweed, Small Fleabane, Smooth Cat's-ear, Smooth Hawksbeard, Smooth Sow-thistle, Sneezeweed, Sneezewort, Spear Thistle, Spotted Cat's-ear, Spotted Hawkweed, Sticky Groundsel, Stinking Chamomile, Stinking Hawksbeard, Tall Fleabane, Tall Mouse-ear Hawkweed, Tansy, Thin-leaved Sunflower, Treasureflower, Trifid Bur-marigold, Tuberous Thistle, Tyneside Leopardplant, Viper's Grass, Wall Lettuce, Welsh Groundsel, Welted Thistle, White African Daisy, White Butterbur, White Buttons, Willdenow's Leopardsbane, Winter Heliotrope, Wood Burdock, Wood Ragwort, Woody Fleabane, Woolly Thistle, Yarrow, Yellow Chamomile, Yellow Fox and Cubs, Yellow Oxeye, Yellow Star Thistle, Yellow Thistle, York Groundsel
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
150 centimetres tall
Fields, gardens, grassland, heathland, hedgerows, meadows, roadsides, rocky places, wasteland, woodland.

Yellow, many petals
Yellow, 6-12 ray petals loosely arranged around yellow disc florets, in straight spikes.
A brown hairy achene, tipped with short white hairs.
Linear leaves which are occasionally slightly toothed.
Other Names:
Aaron's Rod, European Goldenrod, Sweet Goldenrod, Sweet-scented Goldenrod, Woundweed, Woundwort, Yellowweed.
Frequency (UK):

Other Information


Solidago virgaurea, also known as European goldenrod, is a perennial plant in the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and western Asia, but it has been naturalized in other parts of the world. The plant can reach a height of 1.5 meters, with a large number of branches and leaves. The flowers are small and bright yellow, arranged in large, feathery clusters and bloom from late summer to early fall.

The plant is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, including dry and infertile soils. it can be found in a variety of habitats, including meadows, pastures, and roadsides. It is also drought-tolerant and can colonize in disturbed areas such as roadsides, railroads and fields.

Like other Solidago species, it is an important plant for wildlife, providing nectar for bees, butterflies and other insects. European goldenrod is also highly valued as an ornamental garden plant, used in wildflower meadows, and as cut flowers. Its medicinal properties have been reported in traditional medicine, but further research is needed to confirm these findings.


Common goldenrod, also known by its scientific name Solidago virgaurea, is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is native to Europe and Asia but has also been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America.

Common goldenrod is a hardy plant that can grow up to 1.5 meters tall. It has bright yellow flowers that bloom in late summer and early fall. The plant has several medicinal uses, and its leaves and flowers are often used in herbal teas, tinctures, and salves.

One of the most common uses of common goldenrod is for the treatment of urinary tract infections. The plant contains compounds that have diuretic and antimicrobial properties, making it effective in flushing out bacteria from the urinary tract and reducing inflammation.

Common goldenrod is also used to treat respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and the common cold. The plant has expectorant properties that help to loosen mucus and make it easier to cough up. Additionally, the plant contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Another use of common goldenrod is for the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. The plant contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing joint pain and swelling.

Aside from its medicinal uses, common goldenrod also plays an important ecological role. The plant is a source of nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. It also provides habitat and food for various species of insects and birds.

Despite its many benefits, common goldenrod has also been labeled as a weed in some parts of the world, including North America. The plant has a tendency to spread quickly, and its presence can sometimes be seen as an indicator of poor soil quality. However, the plant is relatively easy to control through manual removal or the use of herbicides.

Common goldenrod is a valuable plant that has many medicinal and ecological benefits. Its bright yellow flowers and hardy nature make it a welcome addition to gardens and natural areas. With proper management, this plant can be a valuable resource for both human and environmental health.

Common goldenrod has a long history of use in traditional medicine. Native American tribes used the plant to treat a variety of ailments, including wounds, fever, and kidney problems. European herbalists also used the plant for similar purposes and considered it a valuable herb for promoting overall health and wellness.

In addition to its medicinal properties, common goldenrod has been used for a variety of other purposes throughout history. The plant has been used to dye fabrics and fibers, and its leaves were once used as a substitute for tea during times of scarcity.

Today, common goldenrod is widely cultivated for its ornamental value. The plant is popular in gardens and natural areas, where its bright yellow flowers add a cheerful touch of color to the landscape. Some cultivars have been developed for their unique flower shapes and colors, making them even more attractive to gardeners and landscapers.

Despite its many benefits, common goldenrod is sometimes mistaken for ragweed, a plant that is notorious for causing allergies. However, the two plants are not related, and common goldenrod does not produce the airborne pollen that is responsible for ragweed allergies.

Common goldenrod is also used in alternative and complementary medicine practices such as aromatherapy. Its essential oil is used in a variety of products, such as perfumes, soaps, and candles, due to its pleasant scent and therapeutic properties.

The plant has also been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. Several studies have shown that the plant contains compounds that may have anti-tumor effects and could be used in the development of new cancer treatments. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential of common goldenrod in cancer treatment.

Common goldenrod is a hardy plant that requires little maintenance and is easy to grow. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained soils. It is also drought-tolerant and can survive in a variety of soil types. The plant can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, or division of the roots.

In some parts of the world, common goldenrod is considered an invasive species. This is particularly true in North America, where it has been introduced and has spread rapidly in some areas. The plant's ability to spread quickly and compete with native plants has raised concerns about its impact on biodiversity and ecosystem health.

However, common goldenrod also has several positive ecological impacts. The plant provides habitat and food for a variety of insects and birds, including monarch butterflies, which rely on common goldenrod as a food source during their annual migration. The plant's deep root system also helps to prevent soil erosion and improve soil health.

In conclusion, common goldenrod is a versatile plant that has many potential benefits for human health and the environment. Its medicinal properties, ornamental value, and ecological benefits make it a valuable resource for gardeners, herbalists, and conservationists alike. With proper management, common goldenrod can be a valuable addition to gardens, natural areas, and agricultural landscapes.


Common Goldenrod filmed at Scout Scar, Cumbria on the 16th July 2022.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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